Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No. 98  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No. 98
« on: May 22, 2008, 09:20:44 pm »
    ++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 98 - 22nd May 2008 ++


NO2ID has been an active campaign group for almost four years now and
during this time we have lead a massive increase in public awareness of
"the database state" (a phrase invented to explain the danger we saw).
Clearly the database state continues to grow. The ID cards scheme is
just starting to bite, but a connected government initiative seems to be
launched every other month or so, none of them well thought-out, all of
them a danger to privacy and liberty.

To keep up with all this and keep you informed takes time. To do
something about it - whether that is campaigning, or lobbying
politicians and journalists, printing information leaflets and adverts,
or organising public events - inevitably also takes money.  Which means
we need members. Almost all our funding now comes from membership fees
and donations from individual supporters - we are hardly likely to get a
government grant and we stay independent of any political patronage of
any kind.

Of the 20,000 people who are sent this newsletter, fewer than 1,500 are
subscription paying members of NO2ID. If you value the information we
send you and the work we are doing then please join.

There is a membership form at:

If you are already a member, then thank you. You are the reason we are
able to do our work at all.

        + BBC Politics Show seeks volunteers for surveillance item +

The BBC television programme 'The Politics Show' is looking for
volunteers to appear in a film about data-sharing and surveillance. The
film is to coincide with the soon to be released report on data sharing
by the Information Commissioner and Mark Wallport of the Wellcome Trust.
The programme's producer Ian Lauchlan said: "I'm trying to find a young
family who might help us illustrate how widely data-sharing and the
surveillance culture permeates all aspects of our lives. We'd like to
film them trying to get through a week without revealing any data
information about themselves." Anyone fitting the criteria who would
like to be in this worthwhile film should contact Ian Lauchlan directly
on 0207 973 6083 or 07912 583 234.


      What's next?

*+ Request for volunteers in our London Office +*
We are looking for someone who is able to volunteer to do two hours
regularly on a Saturday morning at out Vauxhall office packing parcels
of NO2ID leaflets/merchandise for distribution to our local groups. If
you can help please contact

*+ Request for technical volunteers +*
We are seeking technically competent, experienced PHP developers, and
those with proven Drupal experience. Vi over Emacs; experience with
RCS/CVS/SVN exceptionally useful. If you're interested, please provide a
couple of URIs, and a LinkedIn profile to
(plain text emails only, cheers).

*+ 29th May - South Yorkshire regional meeting +*
Thursday, 29th May 7.00pm at The Quaker Meeting House, 140 St James St
S1 2EW, Sheffield. Matty Mitford (Local Groups coordinator), James
Elsdon-Baker (Yorkshire Regional Coordinator) and Phil Booth are in the
line up for this meeting for anyone who runs/is interested in running
NO2ID campaigning activity - in South Yorks in particular but all are
welcome. We are looking for a Sheffield coordinator - Sheffield may now
be the biggest city in England without an active group. Contact or for more details.

*5th July -- NO2ID at Open Tech*
Saturday, 5th July at ULU, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY. NO2ID will be
running a couple of sessions at this event which is an informal one-day
conference on technology, society and low-carbon living. Doors open at
10am; the event starts at 10.30am. Tickets are £5 on the door.


We now have local groups in 44 of the 69 proposed locations for
interrogation centres - of which just 3 have yet to open. Parliamentary
answers indicate that the most active centres are: Belfast, Birmingham,
Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport,
Peterborough and Sheffield.

For information on your nearest interrogation centre, see If you can help set up a local
group in one of the remaining locations, or anywhere else in the UK,
please contact Matty on

_*+ Birmingham +*_

*24th May - Birmingham NO2ID Street Stall*
Saturday, 24th May - the NO2ID call will be heard on the streets of
Birmingham for the first time this weekend as the city's local group
holds its first campaign stall in the city centre. We're aiming to raise
awareness of the ID card scheme across the city through face-to-face
discussion with the public, distributing leaflets and collecting
signatures for the petition and support from any NO2ID sympathisers in
the local area will be most welcome!

*27th May - Birmingham NO2ID Meeting*
Tuesday 27 May from 7.30pm till 9pm in the Seminar Room at The Drum, 144
Potters Lane, Birmingham B6 4UU - behind The Bartons Arms pub in Aston
with on-site and street parking; it can also be reached by bus (8, 33,
34, 51, 52, 107 and 113). Among other things this month, we'll be
learning how to write a successful letter to the press or local MPs.
We've got a number of other events lined up for the summer so come along
and get involved.

_*+ Bradford +*_

*31st May -- Bradford NO2ID Street Stall*
Saturday, 31st May, from 11am - 3pm in the city centre on Tyrrell Street
(outside the Zavvi superstore).
*11th June -- Bradford NO2ID Meeting (2nd Wednesday of every month)*
Wednesday, 11th June at Bradford Resource Centre, 17-21 Chapel Street,
Bradford BD1 5DT.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*31st May - NO2ID Cambridge Stall*
Saturday, 31st May at 10am in the usual spot outside Cambridge
Guildhall. Location Map: As ever, volunteers
to help very welcome - please email, or text/call
Andrew on 07710 469624 if you can make it.

*7th June - NO2ID Stall at Cambridge Strawberry Fair*
Saturday 7th June, volunteers needed to man the stall for 2 hour shifts
from 10am until 6pm: please contact, or text/call
Andrew Watson on 07710 469624. We signed up 700 supporters last year -
we'd like to improve on that number this year. (Strawberry Fair info:

_*+ Canterbury +*_

*14th June - Canterbury NO2ID Street Stall*
Saturday 14th June - Next Canterbury NO2ID High St Stall. Please get in
touch if you are happy to help out (

_*+ Dorking +*_

*3rd June -- Dorking NO2ID Meeting (every 1st Tuesday of month)*
Tuesday, 3rd June 7.30pm at The Barn, The Old House at Home pub, West
Street, Dorking.  All welcome.

_*+ Dover +*_

*31st May -- NO2ID Dover Street Stall*
Saturday, 31st May, from 10am (weather permitting) in Folkestone at the
Sandgate Road precinct, between Debenhams and Westcliff Gardens.

_*+ Edinburgh +*_

*Saturdays 1pm - 3pm - NO2ID Edinburgh street stall*
Every week, weather permitting, you will find our campaigning stall at
the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel.  Do drop by
for a chat.  New volunteers - please contact John(,
and for more group information see

*27th May - NO2ID Edinburgh meeting*
Tuesday, 27th May at 7.00 pm in The Library, Quaker Meeting House, 7
Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL. Where do we go next with the
Scottish ID Card?  Under the guise of improving and coordinating IT
systems, Scotland's 32 Local Authorities are introducing an ID card
directly against the policy of the Scottish Parliament and apparently
without the knowledge of most MSPs.  The bus pass for students and
seniors is being extended as a local services 'entitlement card'.  As a
result NO2ID recently organised a briefing meeting for MSPs.  What
happened there and what has happened since will be discussed.  All welcome.

_*+ Glasgow +*_

*Most Saturdays 2pm - NO2ID Glasgow street stall*
Most Saturdays there are stalls in Glasgow city centre (usually Buchanan
Street) from about 2pm. Volunteers are always welcome, please contact
Geraint if you would like to help:

*3rd June -- Glasgow NO2ID Meeting*
Tuesday, 3rd June, 8pm in Mono. All welcome!

_*+ Leeds +*_

*+ Leeds University Students pass Anti-ID motion +*
Leeds University and College Union (UCU) has passed an anti-ID scheme
motion following much hard work from a member of the Leeds NO2ID. The
motion which follows on the heels of a motion by Leeds University
Student Union states that: "The national ID scheme is: unnecessary;
flawed; discriminatory; costly; and threatens individual security and
privacy. Over £30m has already been spent on 'consultants' to the
scheme, with the cost of implementation at over £20bn, at a time when
public sector pay and higher education funding is under significant threat".

*24th May - NO2ID Leeds Street Stall*
Saturday, 24th May meeting 1pm on Briggate. We may move down to the art
gallery after meeting.  Look forward to seeing lots of new faces.

_*+ Leicester +*_

*28th May -- Leicester NO2ID Meeting*
Wednesday, 28th May, at 8pm in the Blues pub, Uplands Road, Oadby.

_*+ Selby +*_

Our 'Say NO2ID' song on youtube is now at over 2000 views and rising. If
anyone wants a copy on CD to use (better quality than on Youtube), email

_*+ Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells +*_

*31st May -- Tunbridge Wells NO2ID Street Stall*
Saturday, 31st May. If you are able to help then please email

      What just happened?

*+ Surveillance Inquiry evidence sessions +*
On Wednesday (21st May) the House of Lords Constitution Committee held
an evidence session as part of their Surveillance and Data Collection
inquiry. The Committee took evidence from Sir Christopher Rose (Chief
Surveillance Commissioner) and then from Sir Paul Kennedy (Interception
of Communications Commissioner). On 14th May the committee took evidence
from Dr Victoria Williams and Professor Ian Loader.
Listen to the evidence sessions at:

*+ Crewe and Nantwich by-election and ID cards +*
One of our supporters recently managed to corner some of the prospective
candidates in today's (22nd May) Crewe and Nantwich by-election to ask
them their views on the government's ID scheme. David Roberts (English
Democrats) said he was personally in favour and when pressed as to why
said it was mainly to distinguish between those who are 'English' and
entitled to use public services and those who come from elsewhere and
are not. He also said that it would reduce crime but didn't elaborate on
how. Elizabeth Shenton (Liberal Democrats) said she is opposed on
grounds of infringement of civil liberties, cost and unworkability.
Edward Timpson (Conservative) also said he was opposed on cost, doubt as
to its usefulness and civil liberties concerns. Meanwhile the Labour
campaign has been mired in controversy over a leaflet attempting to turn
voters against the conservative candidate because he opposes (to quote
the leaflet)"making foreign nationals carry an ID card". (See "ID in the
News" section below for more on this story).

*+ Thanks +*
On the subject of the Crewe and Nantwich by-election -- many thanks to
the benefactor that paid for our NO2ID adverts in the Nantwich Chronicle.

*+ Belgian banks: Bring us your ID or we'll keep all your money +*
Banks in Belgium are warning customers that their accounts will be
blocked from 15th May unless they take their ID cards round to a local
branch. The banks are legally obliged to take copies of each client's ID.

*+ Global data leaks +*
The personal data of six million Chileans were stolen at the beginning
of May and briefly published on a website. They included names, e-mail
addresses and street addresses. A hacker said he stole them online from
the health ministry, the electoral authority and the state-run phone
company. Not to be outdone, the highly official website of the Swiss
Justice and Police Ministry has just published a confidential document
about Europe's Schengen immigration control arrangements. But it was all
a "mistake" a ministry spokesman said -- prompting some Swiss to wonder
what the ministry might get up to with even more important data, namely
theirs. Next door, the German government has admitted that 189 desktop
computers, 328 laptops, 38 data storage devices and 271 mobile phones
belonging to the federal authorities went missing between 2005 and 2007.
48 of them disappeared outside Germany. Some contained sensitive or
secret data.

      "ID" in the news

*+ Big Brother' database for phones and e-mails - The Times 20/5/08 +*
A massive government database holding details of every phone call,
e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as
part of the fight against crime and terrorism. Internet service
providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies would hand over the records to
the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.

*+ Why the police now have to ask teenage muggers: 'Do you eat chips?' -
Daily Mail 17/5/08 +*
Imagine a country where strangers have the right to ask intrusive
questions and store the answers on a database. Where everyone from
police officers to leisure-centre staff can demand: "Tell me who you
feel close to?"

*+ NHS IT 'at least four years late' -- BBC  News online 15/5/08+*
It will be at least 2014 - four years later than planned - before a
single NHS electronic patient records system is in place in England, say
auditors. The head of the National Audit Office, Tim Burr, said the
challenge was "far greater than envisaged".

*+ Labour activists' rage over 'racist' Crewe campaign -
13/6/08 +*
Labour activists are condemning their party's by-election campaign in
Crewe and Nantwich after an election leaflet was released which party
members say appeals to BNP voters. The leaflet in question shows a
checklist of policies which Edward Timpson, the Conservative candidate,
opposes - one of which reads: "Do you oppose making foreign nationals
carry an ID card?"

*+ Web passports system canned as costs soar - ComputerWeekly 13/5/08 +*
The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has cancelled an
over-complicated replacement online passport applications system after
rising costs and glitches, which led to about 5,000 applications
becoming stuck in the system. The IPS told Computer Weekly that it has
written off £10.9m in development costs because of the cancellation of
the Electronic Passport Application system EPA2.

*+ We'll be able to sign up for ID cards at Tesco - The Telegraph 12/5/08 +*
Almost unnoticed last week, the Government announced it had shaved
another £1 billion off the cost of its proposed identity card scheme. It
did so by deciding to let the "open market" capture citizens'
biometrics, effectively outsourcing the cost of enrolling people on to
the ID database. You could end up getting your fingerprints taken at a
supermarket, rather than at a passport office as originally proposed.

*+ Update: government admits ID cards have no business case -
ComputerWeekly 12/5/08 +*
The government has, for the first time, admitted publicly that it cannot
quantify in financial terms the expected benefits from its controversial
£5.4bn National Identity Scheme (NIS). James Hall, chief executive of
the Identity & Passport Service, said, "Many of these benefits [of the
NIS] may be hard to quantify and potentially harder to articulate in
financial terms within the scheme's business case."

*+ Data dunces -- The Sun 10/5/08 +*
There's nothing more private than your medical records. Yet it seems
anyone can access the NHS computer database. The Government promised it
couldn't happen. Yet a GP finds he can log in without security checks.
Labour insist that the ID cards database will be totally secure. But how
can we believe them?

*+ Sunderland council deploys secure information sharing to tackle
anti-social behaviour - ComputerWeekly 8/5/08 + *
Sunderland City Council has installed Cyber-Ark's Inter-Business Vault
to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. The Information Sharing and
Assessment (ISA) initiative is a multi-agency project that allows the
services within Sunderland, including the police and council, to share
information and work closely together.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter -
Editor( )


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